Monthly Archives: November 2014

Don’t let the sun go down on me


If I’m not a big fan of the cold and these darker days that we are going through, I have now an additional reason to dislike it.

It’s been a while since I’ve noticed that I had bad mood swings, was always tired, in pain, etc. I used to blame pregnancy, then hormones post-pregnancy, then going back to work and having bad nights of sleep, then I just blamed life – it was hard and just not worth it. So I went to the doctors as I thought it could be the post-natal depression again.

The doc looked at me and said: “hmmmmmmmmm, maybe. Not impossible. But your daughter is 18 months, so it’s not like it’s post-natal anymore”. She didn’t say that but this is what was implied.

Thankfully she is not the type of GP that will say “here, have a Paracetamol, send your kids to the grandparents, your husband to a business trip to Antarctica and go to
sleep”. It’s a good plan, don’t get me wrong, but hard to implement. Instead, the plan was: have a blood test, call the health visitor to get help with the girls’ sleep and then go back there to see whether there was a need to go back to medication, counselling, trip to Antarctica or Paracetamol.

Blood test done. Health visitor unreachable. GP appointment due. Blood test results: I’m vitamin D deficient. Not insufficient. Deficient. All the I had for the first 8 months of the year apparently wasn’t enough. All
the milk and cheese and occasional tuna and salmon are not enough.

GP (and leaflet) informed me that vitamin D deficiency can cause tiredness, muscle and bone pain and these combined can cause trouble with sleep and mood swings. She gave me the example of her own sun, who was feeling miserable and thinking that life was a struggle. Lots of vitamin D pills later, he is back to his normal self.

The best solution to this problem is to move to a sunny country. All year round. The easiest solution is to take 5 x 800IU of vitamin D for 10 weeks, check my blood again hoping to go to normal doses of Vitamin D (which apparently is 600IU – I’m having 4000IU) for the rest of my life, or until I retire in a nice sunny country.

Apparently NHS only started offering Vitamin D tests widely 5 years ago. So it was a new thing when I was first diagnosed with depression, which made me wonder if there wasn’t a problem with my Vitamin D levels back then. Back 9 years ago when I moved in to this country and felt miserable since.

Anyway, no point in wondering… no point in even blaming lack on vitamin D for all my problems. The purpose of the post is to start a campaign: let’s move to Australia, husband! I get they overdose on vitamin D there. haha

No, seriously, this post is for you, dear person who reads this blog, friend or anonymous, and feels miserable for no reason and have no clue where to start. Talk to the GP, ask for a blood test, especially if you live in countries where there’s little day light in autumn/winter. Apparently just 15 min (more if you have dark skin) of sun without sun lotion, three times a week, is enough. I thought I had enough but, hey, I was so very wrong.

Note to self: plan holidays one a month to very sunny places. Apparently is good for your health.


Beatrice: 18 months later…


I have no idea how it happened but my baby is gone and has been replaced by a full time, interactive demanding toddler.

She is fully aware of who Beatrice – or Bea – is, but she doesn’t say her name. She will say “mamãe” (or mummy, thanks to Laura and her father), “papai” (but rarely “daddy”), Uaua or Lala but not Bea or Bibi. She says Booboo (Bubu) which is how Laura calls her. So much for choosing a beautiful international name…

English is definitely a much easier language to learn than Portuguese. I only speak Portuguese to her, she spends the day with a Brazilian childminder but the majority of words she says is in English: ball, gone, up, down, out, bath, juice, cake, eyes, other, help, please, bye. A few Portuguese ones: carro (ca-o / car), pé (foot), bumbum (bum), mais (more), água (a-ua / water), não (no), xixi (wee wee), pepê (chupeta/dummy), tchau (ciao/bye). And the baby talk ones: uh-oh, poopoo, au-au (for dog), meouw (for cat), moooooo (for cow), ai-ai-ai (when the room is a mess), papa (food), choo-choo (train)…

Her vocabulary increases by the day, even though she is not at nursery with other kids, being stimulated all the time. We can understand her most of the times even when she is not saying much.

She loves going to the ballet with Laura – but I haven’t got her in a class just yet.

She is a much better day sleeper than Laura was – she can easily sleep for 2-3 hours during the day without disturbing her nights. She wakes up about once or twice every evening, same as Laura at the same age.

She is going through the biting phase. Laura sometimes annoys her so Bea bites her – the marks are scary. She also slaps and scratches but if we tell her off, she hugs and kisses. Sometimes she knows it’s not right and says “nao, nao, nao” with her finger going side to side.

Her teeth come out very randomly. She has her four front teeth, two bottom ones, 5 at the back, both sides, top and bottom, and lots of space in between. So 11 teeth, 9 more to go.

She is now into bedtime stories and this is daddy’s business. She loves books and would happily get several books read to her every evening.

She is much easier to put to sleep than Laura was. Hmmmm, let me rephrase this: she doesn’t need to be rocked to sleep. All I need to do is lay down in her bed, feed her and let her fall asleep on her own. Lately (about a week now), she has been sleeping on my chest, listening to my heart.

When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she comes to our bed. Laura used to sleep in a cot-bed until she was 2; Bea sleeps in a normal bed since she was 1 and a bit, so she has no barriers. Laura was scared to leave her bed when we took the side down and I always had to go to her in the middle of the night. I don’t have this “problem” with Beatrice.

I have no idea how much she weights and measures and I couldn’t care less. She is very healthy and eats well (most of the time) and seems pretty ok in terms of development, so not worried about check ups at all.

Her first fireworks display was quite funny. She loved the loud music and kept asking “mais” (“more”) whenever the music stopped, but freaked out and got so so scared with the actual fireworks…

She tells us when she has a dirty nappy.

She is a funny little girl, who loves kissing and waving goodbye to strangers, dancing, singing, playing, eating, putting things in her month, climbing chairs and sofas, running, plying hide and seek, etc. She still loves Peppa Pig and Frozen (which she still calls Go but now she added Anna to the mix), but we have introduced her to Marsha and the Bear. She loves Atirei o pau no gato, Sapo cururu and other Brazilian nursery rhymes. Daddy teaches her the English ones and she likes them as well. Laura is her buddy but we have to keep an eye as sometimes they can fight like grown ups.

I’ve been trying to keep her as a baby forever, but I lost this battle. I just need to accept that she will soon be a child and will soon be sleeping through the night. 😉

Happy 18th month, Bee-bee-beautiful!